Monday, September 07, 2009

New Poll

Strategic Counsel is out with a poll that gives the Conservatives an "edge". Curious result in Quebec which partially explains the supposed gap. First, the nationals:
The survey, conducted by Strategic Counsel for CTV and The Globe and Mail, puts Conservative support at 35 per cent of voters. The Liberals are at 30 per cent. The NDP are at 14, the Greens at 9 and the Bloc Québécois at 12.

Not really much upward movement in the Conservative number, it's the Liberal wane that explains the 5% margin.

People that are predisposed will automatically infer their own "want" onto this poll, but anybody with a sense of objectivity should look at this number with suspicion:
Bloc 49%
Lib 23%
Con 16%
Greens 7%
NDP 6%

Strategic Counsel has put out a few "boner" results for Quebec in the past couple years, I'm prepared to put this one in that folder. As the pollster points out, this is the highest score for the Bloc since 2004. This number also bears absolutely NO resemblance to anything, anybody else has put out. On top of that, the Liberal number is much lower than we've seen, compared to other SC polls, this explains the sudden gap in national support. I'd also put the NDP at the low end. In other words, if one is being fair, I wouldn't put much stock into this result and/or use to further a thesis about the election speculation. Let the "outlier" rest quietly, lest your lust fool you.

The Ontario numbers look reasonable, the two principles tied:
In Ontario, the two major parties are more or less tied (Conservatives 41, Liberals 39) with NDP support at a limp 11 per cent, two points ahead of the Greens

A relatively good result for the Conservatives, Liberal percentage similar to recent findings.

I find this quote hard to believe really:
“The NDP support is close to what it was in the last election. It's 14,” Mr. Donolo said. “They need to decrease that number to 10.”

Part of an argument to say the Liberals haven't polarized the vote, this deduction is nonsensical. Their own poll shows the NDP at a "limp" 11% in Ontario, which is pure death if it were true. Last time I checked, the NDP received 18% in the federal election, and haven't been as low as 14% in some time. I wouldn't expect the NDP to go to 10% nationally, under any circumstance. A silly assertion, particularly when the numbers actually speak to the polarization he speaks about. What are you talking about?

I put SC, just above Ipsos on the reliability/accuracy scale. Which is why, as a Liberal I sleep soundly tonight. Remember this Quebec result, from SC, only a few months ago:

Greens 26%
Libs 24%
Bloc 22%
Cons 17%
NDP 12%



DL said...

You beat me to it in terms of pointing out how bizarre that poll is and how this is a company that not too long ago claimed that the Green Party went from 4% to 26% and back to 5% in Quebec in the space f three polls. I've always found SC to have very erratic numbers and Decima also seems to often have some really whacky regional numbers. Ekos and Angus Reid seem to have the most consistent numbers and are the least prone to wild pendulum swings that defy any logic.

Hopefully other polls will come out soon though because polls do tend to ave a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy about them. It word gets around that the Liberals are in collapse in Quebec (even if it isn't true) - it can be self-fulfilling as prospective candidates suddenly lose confidence and drop out etc...

Steve V said...


Can't see it, anyone with any sense in Quebec looks at those numbers will an eye roll. So obscene, you can't get traction. Three polls last week all had the Libs at 30%, a sense they've stabilized at that level with potential. I do get nervous about certain trends, I'm tossing this poll aside without a second thought at this point.

BTW, SC also tends to have the Cons quite high in Ontario.

Steve V said...

HD does have the odd funky regional, but their national numbers stay very consistent, not the big swings.

DL said...

16% for the Conservatives in Quebec sounds about right. The rest of the numbers look like what you get when you play pin the tail on the donkey.

Steve V said...

I wonder if they blushed when they hit "send"? On the heels of a big Quebec only poll, that's just unsightly.

Éric said...

Yeah, SC is pretty bad. They haven't even updated their website with their August 3 poll.

Assuming the kind of Quebec results you'd expect, that would bump up the Liberals to 31% or 32% and the NDP to 15%, which is just what everyone else has said.

But, one thing that is a trend is that the Liberals are slipping a little in Quebec. Certainly not to 23%, but definitely away from 35%.

SC has been polling the Bloc high recently (44% the last time) so maybe they're trying to over-compensate for that horrid poll in February.

Éric said...

I should point out the 31% or 32% would be the national support level.

Steve V said...


I acknowledge the slip, we seem to be around 30% now, Bloc mid to high. They had another poll mid month that I don't remember them releasing. At the G and M site on the graph.

RuralSandi said...

Again, I don't pay attention to polls when parliament is out. Harper always does better then. When the Libs and NDP start challening the Cons on issues like isotopes, Canadians out of the country, etc....then I pay attention.

Also, you need more polls - then take an average. One poll doesn't reflect enough.

ottlib said...

CTV and the G&M have been the most vocal about an election being unnecessary so these results are not surprising.

A Liberal victory is going to come through Ontario and Quebec.

Does anybody else find it to be a coincidence that this poll puts the Liberals in tough in both provinces?

The G&M and CTV would not have sponsored a push poll would they? After all they have always been the paragon of jounalistic balance without any hint of political bias. Right?!?

DL said...

Even in the unlikely event that we had an election and the popular vote was exactly what this poll says - it wouldn't exactly be good news for the Tories either. With these numbers, they would lose all their seats in Quebec and probably lose about a dozen in Ontario and I think "the west" shows them down from the last election as well.

DL said...

Apparently the BQ is planning a very aggressive ad campaign in Quebec playing up all the positions Ignatieff has that are identical to Harper's (esp. his support for the invasion of Iraq) - it will be interesting to see what impact that has.

Steve V said...

I'm not sure it's deliberate, just untrustworthy methodology. If a pollster can't get decent replicity in Ontario and Quebec, they're useless. Other regions, whatever, it's tough with high MOE's and small samples.